PORTLAND, Oregon — He’s the best of the bloodsuckers. He’s the King of the Cullens. He’s the Titan of “Twilight.”
He is Robert Pattinson (a.k.a. RPattz, a.k.a. Spunk Ransom, a.k.a. the guy who wants to marry you but not make babies), and now he’s here to wish you a happy “Twilight” Tuesday. Long before he was making the ladies go “ooh!” or “ew!” with his EW cover, the man who is Edward Cullen sat down with MTV on the set of the December movie. The charming young star was eager to discuss his “Harry Potter” link, Edward’s connection to Al Pacino and his enormous feet. (Pattinson discusses his theory on why “Twilight” fans are so darn enthusiastic in the MTV Movies Blog.)
MTV: It’s crazy to think about now, but when you were first cast, you got a lot of hate mail.
Robert Pattinson: I think it’s turned around now. I remember when I first got cast, that was quite funny. It’s kind of the same reaction I would’ve had if I were a little girl: “What?!?” I looked at the “Twilight” [message boards] the other day, and it seemed like it turned around. But for a while, I was staying inside and I kept my doors locked. I watched a couple of these YouTube videos of people who were complaining about the casting. I don’t know. They should have been given parts in this movie.
MTV: You’re the only actor to appear in both the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” universes. Is Stephenie Meyer’s material meatier, in your opinion?
Pattinson: In a lot of ways. My character certainly is [more substantial] than the character I played in “Harry Potter” [Cedric Diggory], mainly because the entire thing is based on Edward’s character and who he is. He is very tortured and conflicted, which is very different from what I played in “Harry Potter.” But it’s a completely different style of book.
MTV: How so?
Pattinson: “Twilight” is a first-person narrative. It’s very obsessive, and it’s a much more personal book, I think, than “Harry Potter” is, in a lot of different ways. There are only two characters pretty much in the trilogy. Well, I guess three, but essentially two. It’s just about a love story rather than a massive adventure and an entire world. It’s set as much as possible in the real world, so it’s different.
MTV: What has been the greatest challenge for you?
Pattinson: Well, all the books are written from Bella’s perspective, so I’ve had to pretty much invent the character of Edward; because in the books, he’s just this enigma. He’s supposed to be written as the perfect guy, but it’s written from Bella’s perspective, who is completely, madly in love with him. So you can never take anything to be a fact. It’s just her opinion of him. He seems to hate himself and everything about himself, so that’s the [paradox]. … There are very few actual facts of what he does to go on. And Bella’s trying to judge him in the same way [the audience is], but she is also tremendously obsessed with him, which changes everything.
MTV: Once this movie comes out, all indications are that you will become the Daniel Radcliffe of “Twilight.” Did you ever look at Daniel back in the day and think, “I’d like to be where that guy is”?
Pattinson: No, I didn’t. [He laughs.] I definitely didn’t at the time.
MTV: But the truth is, this is a much smaller flick than the “Potter” films.
Pattinson: Exactly. I don’t know, especially with Kristen [Stewart] playing Bella. I think it’s quite odd casting with both of us. We have an odd dynamic , so hopefully it will come off as a really personal film, which I think is how it’s being made. In a lot of ways, there’s a lot of big scenes, there’s a lot of action stuff at the end and a lot of dramatic things. But most of the scenes are a very desperate love story between two people who don’t really know what is going on half the time.
MTV: But you do see why the two worlds might have some crossover appeal.
Pattinson: There are obviously a lot of comparisons [to "Potter"], but really the only one is that it is a fantasy series. The way Stephenie Meyer writes, so much more of it is based in the real world than the fantasy world. It’s not like there are goblins or something. The way a vampire gets made is you just get bitten by someone. I mean, it’s just like a disease. They’re not separate entities to the rest of the world. They are much more human. You’re just a human, you get bitten by another human who’s been turned into this thing, and you just have to live forever afterwards. And you have these powers, you have super-strength and really amazing agility, but the pros for being a vampire don’t really outweigh the cons at all. … You can never reveal that you’re a vampire, so you’re just trapped in this kind of purgatory all the time.
MTV: It’s not fun being a vampire.
Pattinson: You can do a couple of cool things. [He laughs.] But it gets old after, like, 400 years. … And also, you have to go around killing people all the time, which is another bummer.
MTV: Have you put facets of yourself into this undead vampire?
Pattinson: Oh yeah, tons. I tried to get rid of all the elements of it being a fantasy thing. In the book, he is like this god who just is, and everyone loves him, and that is that. Ed Cullen is a god. But when you actually look at it, nobody really treats him like he’s a god, and he can’t really do that many godlike things at all. He’s like Superman, but he doesn’t ever save anyone — apart from one girl in 100 years.
MTV: So what have you brought to the table?
Pattinson: I tried to make it into a real character, rather than just Dracula. A lot of the way Stephenie had written the books was trying to take vampires out of the world of cliché.
MTV: Hugh Laurie from “House” has a British accent, but between takes, he’ll maintain his character’s American accent to make the transitioning easier. Do you do that with Edward?
Pattinson: I do, kind of. For the big dialogue scenes, it’s just easier to not keep switching between. I kind of do it by accident. I keep forgetting that I’m speaking in an American accent sometimes. The dangerous thing is that you end up forgetting what your real accent is after awhile! It’s really strange — I’ve never done a job in an American accent before.
MTV: Really? How did you develop Edward’s accent?
Pattinson: I grew up watching American movies and stuff, so I’ve learned how to “act” from American films.
MTV: Is there a particular actor you use as a model for your American accent?
Pattinson: At the beginning, when I was doing the first couple scenes, I kept slipping into different actors. … During a really dramatic scene, you start doing Al Pacino. [He laughs.]
MTV: Last thing: We have a question for you from a fan. She asks: “What size feet do you have? They’re huge!”
Pattinson: Are they? Christ, I don’t know. [He laughs.] I didn’t know I have big feet. Size 10, I think. I’m quite tall, though. That’s another thing I can add to my list of inadequacies — or over-adequacies.
Every Tuesday is “Twilight” Tuesday here at MTV News! Check back here each and every week for the hottest scoop on the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s beloved vampire series, and we’ll still bring you breaking “Twilight” news throughout the rest of the week. And make sure you check out the MTV Movies Blog for our ongoing “Twilight” discussions each and every day.
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